If I had a dollar for every “think”-piece about the future of music, I could quit all my other jobs to concentrate on Guitar Moderne, and making more music. Still, I can’t resist adding my own two cents (like how I continued the monetary theme?). A trend I am observing is an increasing number of musicians equally at home with playing (often multiple) instruments, music technology, and creating video.
The EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter Modulated Monophonic PLL Harmonizer launches today. This mouthful of a pedal is a monophonic analog PLL harmonizer with modulation. It takes your input signal and amplifies it into a square wave fuzz tone that is then multiplied, divided and modulated to create a wild, yet repeatable, three-voice guitar synthesizer.
The Master Oscillator is the central nervous system at the heart of the Data Corrupter’s cyberpunk hive mind. It feeds your input to the Data Corrupter’s signal harvester in its original octave (Unison), one octave down (-1) or two octaves down (-2) for maximum compatibility with your preferred instrument and frequency register. Once you’ve chosen your input octave, then the Data Corrupter will perform its calculations and spit out an analog synthesized frequency, which can be pitch-bent for portamento or vibrato sounds by the Frequency Modulator. From there, you can blend in one of eight Subharmonic intervals up to three octaves below the input and mix in a square wave fuzz tone for maximum data corruption. Full review to come soon.
I feel like it was nearly five years ago that I first saw Mod Devices Mod Duo (€649.00) at a NAMM show. It seemed like a great idea at the time: a hardware pedal that could host plug-ins. I had just begun exploring the unique sounds I could get using plug-ins on the computer in Ableton Live. These were sounds unavailable in stomp boxes at the time, but since then, more and more boutique pedal manufacturers have released the kind of granular, filtering, and ambient effects that were until now only available in the computer. Still, the Mod Duo offers both freedom from a laptop on stage, and a plethora of pedal style and plug-in style effects in a small footprint. Its open source nature also bodes well for modern sounds not yet available from stomps. What do you think?
In my recent conversation with Ralph Gibson I posited that many modern guitarists who traffic in large part in noise are nevertheless highly schooled on the instrument, whether in classical, jazz, rock, or all of the above. Raphael Vanoli is one such guitarist. But more important, in his solo work Vanoli has developed the technique of blowing across the strings to a high art, turning the guitar into a kind of wind instrument. Add to that his unique dub/electronica duo Knalpot with Gerri Jäger on drums, percussion, electronics, synth, and Casio, and you have one of the more exciting modern guitarists working today.
As a budding photographer, I was thrilled when guitarist Brandon Ross introduced me to Ralph Gibson through Facebook. It turned out that Ralph is not just a world renowned photographer, with work on display at the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the J. P. Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, but also an avid guitarist, as interested in the future of the instrument as we are. He has published two books featuring the guitar, Light Strings and State of the Axe (with Andy Summers http://www.guitarmoderne.com/pioneer/the-andy-summers-interview). The latter could serve as an analog version of Guitar Moderne, with its photographs of and interviews with many of the same guitarists that appear here. The pictures in Gibson’s first book of photography, The Somnabulist, are like a dream, not necessarily linear, but very illuminating. Our conversation proved to be similar, wandering off on tangents, moving at oblique angles, but centered by a shared vision.